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President PHF Brig Khalid sajjad Khokhar, Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior meets Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal
President PHF Brig Khalid sajjad Khokhar & Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior meets Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) high officials have met the federal minister of interior Ahsan Iqbal to get the NOC for organising the visit of World Hockey XI and Pakistan Hockey League in the country next year, ‘The News’ learnt on Thursday.

PHF president Khalid Khokhar and secretary Shahbaz Ahmed met the minister and secretary interior Mirza Shahid to discuss the security arrangements for the visit of World XI and PHL.

The World XI was to visit the country in December, but now they will come in the second week of January because a number of players wanted to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve at their homes.

The interior ministry issued the NOC for both evens. The World XI will play three matches, in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi. The PHL will be held in April and May.

The minister assured PHF high officials that foolproof security arrangements would be made for the visit of World XI and for the PHL, wherever the PHF wanted. Ahsan said the nation wanted to regain its past prominence in world hockey.

On the sidelines of the matches against the World XI, PHF will honour some great hockey players, including them in a Hall of Fame for their services for hockey. Meanwhile, the departmental national hockey championship would be held in Sukkur in the middle of December and it is expected that 16 teams would participate in the event.

PHF will organise the regional teams championship separately and its schedule will be announced later. The PHF had taken this decision last year to increase the standard of domestic hockey, because the regional hockey teams were too weak to compete against departments.

Naveed Alam, director development and domestic of PHF, confirmed that separate championships would be organised for departments and regions. He also confirmed that national hockey championship would be held in December in Sukkur, where all facilities are available, including synthetic turf, floodlights and accommodations of the players.

He further said that PHF is also going to organised under-16 national championship in Sindh. Its schedule would be released in a couple of days, he said. Meanwhile, PHF will announce the national senior hockey team for the four-nation tournament in Australia in a couple of days. The players are training in Karachi.

News by Syed Intikhab Ali